Avoiding Dash-Boredom 3: Metrics that Motivate

You’ve seen that good dashboards are user-centered. They fit users’ decision and action process. They tell WHY there are problems and point toward how to solve them. That helps keep your team on track.

But few leaders can reach success by just keeping things on track. The essence of strategic leadership is to motivate change to get different results.

To do that, you must craft metrics which demand specific behaviors and outcomes. It’s hard not to report on the “poor” metrics in the examples below. They should be included, but they’re “second-page news” and should not be the focus of a dashboard nor of discussions.

Here are some keys:

  1. Specific to the strategic challenge ahead.

2. Directly tied to strategic initiatives

3. Updated. There is no reason a dashboard should be constant. As initiatives succeed and strategic imperatives change, metrics should slowly be replaced.

4. Reflection of the Strategy Narrative. A great test that a dashboard has strategic meaning - and definitely avoids dash-boredom - is to speak the whole dashboard in a few sentences. For example,

“To improve our revenue and profitability, we need to

Attract the customers with higher potential lifetime value. The markers of high potential are

    1. Acquired from marketing channels X, Y {metric: % of New from Marketing Channel X,Y}

    2. Sign up for loyalty program {metric: % of New enrolling on first order}

    3. Buy categories A,B, or C in first 45 days {metric: % of New who buy from A,B,C on first order}

Then we need to engage them onto a growth path quickly. That means

    1. getting more categories on the first order {metric: AOV of 1st order}

    2. Getting a 2nd order before day 45, after which re-engagement rate drops {metric: % of each cohort with 2nd order by day 45}

    3. Mining our existing customer base we have neglected {metric: # repeat customers}.

To be sure we’re on track, there is a goal for cumulative revenue {metric: LTV to date for each monthly cohort.} "